|VALERIANA officinalis - Valerian|
Valerianaceae; native to western Europe.
Germination: Best sown indoors at alternating temperatures of 68 and 86° or alternating 55 and 72° and with no cover as light aids in germination. Seeds can also be sown outdoors in situ after all danger of frost is past in the spring and in a warm soil. Outdoors, sow with barely any cover. Indoors and out, expect germination in 15-20 days. Seeds are very small.
Growth: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves. Space 2-3 feet apart, preferably in partial shade, but it will tolerate full sun. Site in a moist, well-drained soil. Keep plants evenly moist: neither allow them to dry out nor to sit in water-logged soil. Plants will spread underground via rhizomes and may need dividing in late fall or early spring. The tall plants may require staking, especially when in flower.
Appearance and Use: This medicinal herb crosses the herb garden paradigm and looks great situated in a border. It is an upright, clump-forming plant that grows 4-6 feet tall by 21/2- 4 feet wide. The 8 inch, bright green leaves are pinnate with 7-10, lance-shaped, toothed leaflets. The rounded clusters of 1/4 inch, lavender, pink, or white, fragrant flowers appear from early to late summer. The rhizome is used to create an herbal sedative.
NASA Seeds in Space
From a National Gardening Association review:
"Since its [original] publication in 1978, ...Park's Success with Seed has been one of my favorite resources for starting seeds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers."